Biggest snow of season falls at ski resorts

It was a pow-pow day at Killington, Vermont on Thursday.

Our snow prayers have been answered. Now the real skiing and snowboarding season has began.

It’s all because of that  wonderful nor’easter that  dropped more than two feet of snow across northern New England and New York. Many ski resorts now have 100 percent of their trails open, there’s deep powder stashes in the woods and a solid base has been laid down for the months ahead.

We’re talking powder and packed powder, not that scratchy hardpack we’ve been sliding on the past few weeks. No more bare and brown ground alongside ski trails. This is the real deal.

When you add up the parade of snowstorms that some resorts have enjoyed the last week, weekly snowfall totals are impressive. Stowe’s gotten 42 inches and Killington 37 inches.

So sweet. And it came at a time when many people were at ski resorts for the Christmas/New Years holiday week.

There was one downside to the storm: strong winds. With gusts at the summits more than 60 mph Thursday, many upper mountain lifts were closed.

Ski condition reports are giddy this morning.

From Sugarbush in Vermont: “With over 4 feet in the last 10 days, the season total is currently at 110” and we are 110% open. Is even that possible? Today, it is. Better be here.”

From Mount Snow: “Good morning skiers and riders! We received another 2 inches of fresh snow last night bumping the total up to a whopping 19-21 inches since Wednesday night!! What does this mean you ask? Well you probably didn’t ask that question because you already know it’s going to be EPIC out there today!”

Stowe, Vermont got dumped on Thursday; 17 inches of fresh powder.

The storm dumped nearly two feet of snow across areas in Vermont. Mad River Glen got a well deserved 20 inches, Stowe 17 inches, 16 inches at Mount Snow. Over in New Hampshire, areas like Loon, Bretton Woods and Wildcat got up to 17 inches. Generally, Granite State areas got around a foot. Maine continues to get big snowfalls with another 16 inches piling up at Saddleback, a foot at Shawnee Peak, 10 inches at Sunday River.

New York State areas were not forgotten by the snow gods. Hunter, Belleayre, Windham, Gore were blessed with up to 18 inches. Whiteface got 20 inches in the last two days.

Massachusetts picked up a few areas, but not the needed big snowfall that’s needed. In northwestern Massachusetts, Jiminy saw 7 inches fall. Southern areas like Butternut and Catamount got about a half-foot.

That’s the same situation for Connecticut ski areas that have about half their trails open. And finally, Mount Southington joins the game when it opens Sunday.

The forecast for the weekend calls for snow on Saturday and cold temperatures.

Jim Shay